January 30, 2021
Rita was having trouble trying to keep her two children in line during a last-minute stop at the grocery store when an old lady offered to buy her daughter candy, which led to an awkward situation.
Rita is a single mother of two children, son Ralph, age 2, and daughter Ramona, age 4. For practical reasons, Rita uses to do all of the grocery shopping for her household through a delivery service.
While this system normally worked perfectly for the mother-of-two, one week, the people responsible for the delivery forgot two items that Rita really needed, leaving her no option but to run to the grocery store to get them herself.
The inconvenience was that Rita didn’t have anyone to ask to watch Ralph and Ramona for her, so she was forced to bring her son and daughter along to the grocery store, something that she knew would be stressful.
As a preventive measure, Rita told Ralph and Ramona before leaving for their quick trip to the supermarket that she would go straight to get the two missing items from her grocery list and not buy anything else.
Everything was going as planned for Rita. She had managed to keep her children from becoming fixated on any additional items to buy until the party of three approached checkout.
Ramona, the oldest of the two children, was the first to notice the candy and immediately felt the impulse to have it, so she started to ask her mother to get some for her.
Sticking to what she had previously agreed with the children, and considering that Ramona had already had ice cream, Rita said no to Ramona, who became upset and started to throw a fit.
Rita knew that the only thing to get over this was to ignore Ramona and to insist that the answer was “no.” But then came the old lady. An old lady noticed the situation and tried to intervene, offering Ramona to buy her candy.
Not comfortable with this, Rita rapidly replied to the old lady with a polite but determined “no, thank you.” “But she is so cute; she needs candy,” the old lady insisted.
Rapidly losing her patience, Rita told the intrusive old lady that nobody actually needed candy, and she tried to dismiss her by assuring her that she and her children were fine and didn’t need her to buy anything for them.
Despite this, the old lady continued with her attempt to buy candy for Ramona, trying to convince Rita about it. This only made Ramona’s behavior worse. And at the same time, Ralph was ripping something from Rita’s purse.
With so much to handle at the same time, Rita finally snapped, and she addressed the old lady harshly, nearly yelling at her, “I said no!” before quickly finishing checking out and leading her two children out the door.
As Rita said, Ramona was so upset about the entire grocery store episode that she cried in the car all the way back to their home, and the mother-of-two kept thinking that the old lady only made everything harder for her.
Nevertheless, when Rita told a friend about the incident, her friend said she should have just let the old lady buy candy for Ramona, considering that Rita was unnecessarily mean to the old lady.
While her friend’s view on the episode surprised her initially, Rita couldn’t stop thinking about it afterward, and she increasingly doubts herself, wondering if she actually acted wrongly.
Do you think that Rita should have let the old lady go over her with her children to be polite? Or do you believe that, even at the risk of being mean, Rita had to defend her right to raise her children in her own way?
If you found this story entertaining and gave you material for thought and discussion, click here to read this other #storyoftheday about a woman who chose a curious time to announce her pregnancy.